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Beware! The Blob (1972)

Review

Author
Date
05-20-2001
Comments
Beware! The Blob poster
Runtime
91 minutes
MPAA Rating
PG
Countries
Cast and Crew
Director
Production Company

I haven't seen a good review of this movie, and I really don't know why. Perhaps my own nostalgia for the first Blob movie has clouded my objectivity, but I think that Beware! The Blob (AKA Son of Blob) is a fun and entertaining little B-movie that doesn't get any respect and it is surely more maligned than it deserves.

Chester, an engineer and world class beer fan, has just returned from Antarctica, where he has unearthed a strange frozen specimen that he wants to have analyzed. He brings a small piece of his find home and stows it away in the family fridge for safe keeping. Unfortunately, his wife finds the mysterious canister and sets it out on the counter. In very short order, the specimen, a fragment of the original blob, thaws and begins to devour everything in its path. A fly and a cute little kitten are the first to go and the man and his wife follow soon. Stopping by to pick up a birthday gift for her boyfriend, Lisa arrives just in time to see Chester being devoured in his easy chair. Horrified, she tries desperately to convince her friends and eventually the police of the terrible danger that they are in. In true B-movie tradition, nobody believes her until it is almost too late. The monster, growing larger with every meal begins to work its way through the small town.

I don't know why this movie has been panned by critics and Blob fans alike. It, along with the 1958 original prevail are personal faves of mine. This movie does tend to lean a bit toward the whimsical side. Yet, it this abundance of camp and tongue-in-cheek performances that make Beware! The Blob so darn much fun.

The Blob movies, like most horror films, have always been a product of their time. The 1958 original, although a bit hokey now, was full of early Cold War tension. I doubt if there was any intentional allegory in The Blob, but it is easy to see why movie audiences concerned on some level about a possible communist threat were so captivated by the spate of "Invaders from Space" movies. The fear of living in a rapidly changing world that might, at the press of a button, be obliterated in a nuclear holocaust was also responsible for the "big bug" and "science gone wrong" movies that were very popular at the time. By the time the late 80s rolled around, audience had become jaded, far less willing to believe that a quick call to the National Guard would be enough to take care of any monster problems. In fact, they were more likely to believe that the government just might be responsible for the monster. That is why, in the 1988 remake, the Blob is no longer an invading alien, but rather a germ warfare experiment gone very, very wrong.

I rambled my way through all of that, to say this. Beware! The Blob, directed by Larry ("I Dream of Genie", "Dallas") Hagman, is also a reflection of its time. It is a light-hearted movie that isn't afraid to laugh at itself. With Dick Van Patten as super-perky scout master and other amusing characters like hippies and wine-os, this movie isn't out to make any kind of statement. It simply is supposed to be a good time. Much like the 70s themselves, it wasn't trying to say anything profound; it just was what it was. Heck, even the Blob itself has gone almost psychedelic. It was a deep sinister red in the original and in this movie, it is almost florescent.

Perhaps I'm reading to much into this, and I'm sure you'll agree that I'm most surely writing to much into it. Beware! The Blob is a great B-movie, a whole lot of fun, and a must for flesh-eating goo fans. So don't listen to those nay sayers at the Internet Movie Database and give it a shot. Remember, there is always room for ever-growing, cat-eating Jell-O™ from space.

P.S. Just before Chester becomes blob food, he is trying to adjust the picture on his TV. Note that the station he is watching is showing the original Blob. Also, have you ever wondered what ever become of our gelatinous friend. Well, wonder now more. Here is a neat little article I found that I think all blob-oids will enjoy. http://www.horror-wood.com/blob.htm.

Comments

Hi, one of the things that (I

Hi, one of the things that (I think) makes the Blob such an effective creature is that it is, unlike most of its brethren, absolutely silent.  You'd never know if it was in the room with you until it got you.  Most every monster of that era that I can think of makes sounds, sometimes almost constantly (think of the eletronically whining ants from "Them"). 

That was one of the reasons I disliked the 80's remake.  The damn Blob mewled like a kitten, squealed like a pig and sometimes made a sound like a flushing toilet. 

As for the film in question, the biggest problem (for me) is the campy nature that really, really dates the film.   It's TOO comic in tone, which tends to undercut the horror of the situation. 

I do agree, though, that the original film is a lot of fun and that the sequel has more than enough in it to be worth a couple of affectionate looks.

Agreed, agreed, on all

Agreed, agreed, on all counts. The 50's blob terrified me as a kid for that very reason; you could turn a corner and it would be there. It could sneak up on you and you would never know. And unless you happen to have a walk-in freezer, it could get into ANYTHING to get you, and nothing you could do would stop it. But by the time you saw it, unless you were lucky (like the naked Turk guy) it would be too late. That scared me more than anything. The 1972 sequel was simply too intentionally comical to me to be truly scary. The few scenes of actual horror, like seeing Chester digested alive, are punctuated too frequently by people acting stupid and doing meaningless things. Its hard to build any pathos for the characters when they all (intentionally!) act like 70's stereotypes. It almost makes you think ol' Blob is doing us a favor, Darwin style. However, there were scenes I did enjoy. We actually see the Blob attack Chester's wife in broad daylight, and get a good, long look at it. The scene with Chester himself is shocking, and the bowling alley scene isn't too bad. All in all, I think its a good movie for Blob fans, but a coin toss for everyone else.

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